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Chinese billionaire reported missing, shares halted

fosun chairman
Guo Guangchang, the billionaire chairman of China’s Fosun Group, is reported to be missing.

Shares in two Hong Kong companies linked to a Chinese conglomerate were halted on Friday after its chairman was reported to be missing.

Fosun International and Fosun Pharmaceutical said that trading was suspended “pending the release of an announcement containing inside information,” according to exchange filings.

The filings followed a report by respected Chinese business news site Caixin that Fosun Group had been unable to contact its chairman, Guo Guangchang, since noon on Thursday.

Fosun has interests in everything from real estate to entertainment, and recently bought the luxury resort chain Club Med. It also owns a stake in Cirque du Soleil. In 2013, it bought the landmark One Chase Manhattan Plaza skyscraper.

Calls and emails to Fosun’s offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai were unanswered on Friday. The company has not yet commented on the Caixin report.

Guo’s wealth is estimated at about $7 billion by Forbes, and his apparent vanishing act adds to the mystery over missing executives and top government officials.

Related: Chinese executives keep going missing

Some previous cases appeared to be linked to a campaign against corruption launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013. The crackdown was widened to include alleged insider trading investigations related to China’s summer stock crash.

China’s largest brokerage firm, Citic Securities, said on Sunday it wasn’t able to get in touch with two top executives. Citic had previously disclosed that the firm, and a number of its executives, were under investigation by Chinese market regulators.

In late November, the Hong Kong subsidiary of another major Chinese brokerage said its CEO, Yim Fung, had been missing since Nov. 18, and appointed a replacement. The company, Guotai Junan, hasn’t said anything since, and Yim’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Related: Giant Chinese brokerage can’t find its CEO

Zhang Xun, president of the Agricultural Bank of China, and well-known fund manager Xu Xiang have also been detained, Chinese state media have reported.

Hundreds of people have been arrested for alleged rumor-mongering following the wild stock market swings, including prominent journalists, and even officials with China’s securities regulator.

Related: Top China banker implicated in corruption probe

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First published December 11, 2015: 5:41 AM ET



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